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Retirement Planning

If you are recently retired or are planning your retirement, you are likely to have a number of questions. The first step is to make an appointment with the provost and dean of the faculty. We, as well as the Office of Human Resources, welcome the opportunity to meet with you to help with the planning process.

Michael Thurston

Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Hélène Visentin

Associate Dean of the Faculty/Dean for Academic Development

Tina Benoit

Human Resources Specialist

Emeriti Advisory Committee

The Emeriti Advisory Committee provides a direct means of communication between emeriti faculty and the administration. The committee serves as a forum for emeriti faculty ideas and concerns; makes recommendations about policy changes relevant to emeriti faculty; and provides advice to the president, provost and planning committees about issues relevant to emeriti faculty. In planning for retirement, faculty members often have questions about their opportunities and choices for shaping the next phase of their intellectual careers. The advisory board can assist with information and guidance.

  • Marjorie Senechal, Louise Wolff Kahn Professor Emerita in Mathematics and History of Science & Technology
  • Janie Vanpée, Professor Emerita of French Studies
  • Hélène VisentinChair, Associate Dean of the Faculty/Dean for Academic Development

What To Do a Year (or Earlier) Before Retirement

We assume that you have already talked with the provost/dean of the faculty and human resources about your plans to retire. The following are some key steps to keep in mind during this time of transition.

1. Meet with Retirement Vendor

We recommend meeting with your retirement vendor for an individual consultation. More information about one-on-one counseling sessions is available on the Human Resources website.

2. Meet with a Financial Advisor

The Provost's Office offers faculty aged 62 or older up to $250 towards the cost of consulting a financial advisor or consultant for retirement planning. Please send requests for payment with a copy of your receipt to Joshua Parad at; payment will be issued as a stipend (less applicable taxes). Please note that payment must be requested and issued prior to retirement taking place.

3. Contact the Social Security Office

Talk to the Social Security Office in Holyoke (413-563-3649) to set up your payments. You also need to sign up for Medicare B and Medicare Part D (the prescription drug plan) to start as soon as you are no longer on the Smith health plan.

4. Explore Health Insurance Options

Human resources cannot counsel individual retirees on healthcare options. Post-retirement health insurance options include Medicare, but Medicare isn’t free and you will likely want to have supplementary insurance as well. Smith recommends one post-retirement health care plan: Benistar. This plan requires immediate sign-on upon retirement; there is no possibility of joining the plan later. Many retirees find Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE) useful. SHINE offices are located in Northampton at the Senior Center on Conz Street (413-587-1228); there are also offices in Greenfield, Montague and Florence. Useful information is available on the SHINE website.

5. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance

Consider long-term care insurance. Although it likely isn't necessary for everyone and is expensive, some people may find it beneficial in affording health care as they age.

Emeriti faculty are responsible for the packing and moving of their materials and furniture to their new office, house, or for donations. 


The College Archives is interested in acquiring your papers: class notes, official Smith correspondence, professional correspondence, letters from old students, even appointment books. They will provide boxes and send someone to pick them up. Contact Nanci Young, the college archivist, at or 413-585-2976.


The Smith College Libraries may accept some of your books. Gift-in-kind donations must meet the same criteria as those used to select current purchases; they should be scholarly works published within the last two to three years and not already held in the libraries. Other kinds of materials may be accepted. For guidelines and procedures, please see Giving to the Libraries. Consult with your department's subject liaison for more information.


Many organizations sponsor donations of books and journals to colleges and universities, and some local bookstores will buy selected used academic books they think they can sell.

  • Newly retired faculty members may retain their private faculty offices until June 1st of the year following their retirement date, if they indicate to the Provost’s office a desire to do so. 
  • After this grace period, emeriti/ae may request an office space. Requests will be granted, ordinarily with the offer of a shared space, based on availability and demonstrated need for an on-campus office determined through an annual survey administered by the Provost’s Office. 
  • All emeriti/ae faculty member space allocations are provided for a one-year period, after which another review of space needs will take place. Emeriti/ae with space allocations should reapply for their spaces by mid-March for the following school year. Based on the results of the space needs review, they may be: 1) approved to continue use of their assigned space; 2) provided a new space assignment; or 3) asked to vacate their space.

Emeriti Lounge

The Emeriti Lounge, located in Tilly Hall, is a place where retirees can gather informally.

When considering retirement options, faculty should review the Phased Retirement Plan Overview.

Emeriti & Retirement Resources